By Cletus Mushanawani in Madziwa
THOUSANDS of Johane Masowe YeChishanu Vadzidzi VaJesu Church members have thrown their weight behind President Mnangagwa, describing him as a listening President who was anointed by God to lead Zimbabwe. President Mnangagwa — who was accompanied by national Political Commissar Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired), provincial chairperson Cde Kazembe Kazembe and Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha — addressed more than 20 000 pilgrims from Johane Masowe Vadzidzi VaJesu, which is led by Mudzidzi Wimbo in Madziwa, Mashonaland Central yesterday.
Most church members pledged to actively participate in Zanu-PF’s primary elections to be held on Sunday, as well as the forthcoming harmonised elections.
The church’s anointed leader, Mr Ishmael Magodi, said although President Mnangagwa had visited the shrine twice in the past four months, former president Robert Mugabe had never set foot at the shrine despite numerous invitations.
“It took us 37 years of pleading with the former president to grace our gathering, but the visit never materialised.
“President Mnangagwa was anointed by God to lead the country and that is the reason why he has visited this shrine twice after his installation as the President of Zimbabwe. President wekukorokoza akaenda, saka isu tese pano tichavhotera Zanu-PF nehuwandu hwedu,” said Mr Magodi.
“We were supposed to break our Bhesinayi gathering on Sunday, but we are now breaking on Friday to allow our members to actively participate in Sunday’s primary elections,” said Mr Magodi.
Cde Zex Pamacheche, a senior member of the church and aspiring Zanu-PF candidate for Shamva South, said leaders are anointed by God.
“We do not want imposition of candidates. Leaders are anointed by God. Cde Mnangagwa was not imposed on the people of Zimbabwe, but was anointed by God to take Zimbabwe to the Promised Land.
“We are happy with the free participation of all members unlike in the past when previous political commissars would impose their own candidates. We were taught by our leader, Mudzidzi Wimbo, that there is only one party to rally behind, which is Zanu-PF and not the Western-backed MDC-T, which will surely lose the elections,” he said.
The church also hailed the Zanu-PF leadership for reinstating the party’s branch at the shrine, which had been barred from participating in the primary elections.
Addressing the gathering, Lt Gen Rugeje (Rtd) said: “We heard that your branch here had been barred from participating in Sunday’s primary elections, but we want to assure you that you have every right to vote as a branch and chose the leader of your choice.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated the need for peace and unity, saying as a united front, the party will prevail over its adversaries.
“We should speak with one voice and everywhere I am going, I am preaching the gospel of peace.
“Gone are the days of hate speeches. Munovaziva vaituka, asi taiti tikatukwa, taiti tonho, totukwa zvedu tongonyarara; todakuuraiwa, tojamba border. We should all preach unity, love and peace,” he said.
The church also dispelled rumours that Mudzidzi Wimbo had died and would be buried during the ongoing Bhesinayi gathering.
The Bhesinayi gathering attracts pilgrims from across Africa.